By Stephen A. Carter
One of the two tour groups on Friday of the conference
The Academy was wise to choose a location for the 2016 conference as far away from Washington DC as geographically possible. For three or four days, we focused on the excellent panel discussions, distracted only by the call of ocean breezes and temperate waters. Of course on return to the Mainland, a tsunami in US politics occurred, but at least we were relaxed!
The four plenary and 17 panel sessions represented what AAJ has come to expect from the speakers and the audience participation. The Academy has truly evolved into a community of professionals who arrive at solutions to the built environments through different pathways, but bond together in genuine concern for design solutions that recognize the importance of social justice that are sustainable regardless of economic, cultural, or political changes.
From a perspective of the courts, a future role of therapeutic courts was discussed in the context of restorative justice as was the need for sustaining essential court partnerships through providing appropriate spaces in the courthouse. The unique nature of Hawaii courthouses was presented which worked well with the discussion of lesson learned about courthouse construction. A highlight was the inspirational plenary session on Friday morning on the rebuilding of the Christchurch Courthouse following the devastating earthquake in 2011.
In the correctional track, the emerging trend of designing more therapeutic correctional environments was stressed in several panel presentations. Along with evidence-informed data, many visual examples of the elements of treatment-focused facilities from the US and abroad were offered as an indication of a trend that is clearly emerging throughout the western nations. Those attending any of the corrections track panels would have left with a sense that while the need for new bedspaces continues to decline, innovation will be needed to create new or re-purpose existing facilities that truly reflect a more therapeutic setting.
The spatial requirements for law enforcement will continue to be influenced by continued transparency in police operations and the role of technology in emerging approaches to assure public safety in an era of concerns for terrorist activities. The role of the future police station within the civic and neighborhood context was explored and, again, Hawaii was able to offer specific examples.
Whatever thirst delegates brought to the Honolulu Conference was more than satisfied in a variety of ways, but certainly, through well-conceived and managed professional discourse. The organizing committee was available and involved in all of the logistics that were necessary to use more remote presentations than in past conferences. The visibility of the sponsors and exhibitors allowed for good exposure during the morning breakfast and scheduled breaks.
Many delegates brought family members and remained in the Islands well beyond the scheduled end of the conference. Dwight Mitsunaga and Curt Parde, and their team provided a great aloha moment for all of the attendees. They deserve our appreciation for another successful event.
Mr. Stephen A. Carter, also known as Steve, AICP is the Founder and President of CGL Services Division at Hunt Companies, Inc. and serves as Global Strategic Development Officer. Mr. Carter Founded CGL Management Group, LLC in 1974 and serves as its Principal and Chairman. Mr. Carter assisted more than 49 states, 300 counties and several foreign countries in formulating public policy and plans.
Mr. Carter is personally involved in technical studies in the areas of needs assessment, operational and architectural programming, design review, program management, and policy evaluation. He served in governmental agencies to develop analytical studies and build consensus for a variety of project types, ranging from courthouses to correctional institutions to law enforcement installations.
Mr. Carter served on the faculty of the College of Architecture and Planning at Clemson University, as an Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of South Carolina College of Business and as a trainer at the National Academy of Corrections in Boulder, Colorado. He has served as a Lecturer in the College of Public Administration and Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina; Wakefield Training College in the United Kingdom; and the Continuing Engineering Education Department of the University of Wisconsin. Since 1995, Mr. Carter served as an Instructor in the Harvard Graduate School of Design Professional Development Program for planning and design of correctional facilities.
Mr. Carter is a Member of the American Planning Association, the International Corrections and Prisons Association, the Society of International Business Fellows and the American Jail Association. He helped to develop the standards of the American Correctional Association and served on the AIA Committee on Architecture for Justice.
(Return to the cover of the 2016 AAJ Journal Q4 issue)